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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #25)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 06:40 PM

53. The problem with this is ...

...On every street corner stands a homeless person begging, who is invisible to the thousands passing them every day. It is just as graphic as any Depression era black and white photo and most just walk by and pretend REAL pverty is is South America or Africa or Asia, certainly not in the U.S!

Johnson's plan reduced poverty almost in half in 4 years at over 40% and the various programs they implemented were aimed at young adults, the elderly, children, disabled and teens. It worked and frankly whatever times they were, little is different now ~ indeed it has gotten far worse.

One of the most helpful programs was 235. This was a housing program that encouraged the poor to buy their own homes at the income they could afford (approximately 1/3 of their income, whatever that was). This lifted many a low wage worker out of poverty and allowed kids to grow up in stable neighborhoods where people had pride in their homes and communities. There were both "scattered site" housing where already existing housing could be purchased, and new housing.

It was much like Section 8 is today but it allowed the resident to OWN their homes. They taught home maintenance, financial security, taxes and investing, even things like decorating on a budget and cooking and food preservation classes. They encouraged fully paid college (where the resident could remain in their homes and go to school instead of work for a wage). The buyer agreed to remain in this home for at least 8 years before selling or leaving their home ~ and when they sold their homes, they paid back all the subsidies they had received, so in the long run the tax dollars invested would be paid back but the owner got to keep the investments they put into their home along with any profit they made from the increased worth of their property.

God forbid the poor people should own anything of their own! That program morphed into selling homes to upper income people for pennies on the dollar and then renting those homes at subsidized rates to renters, giving lots of perks and breaks for the owner, who enjoyed far fewer restrictions. They do have to keep these homes up to code ~ but get subsidies for doing so along with other perks for being so "nice" as to rent to a Section 8 family. Renting causes families to never be able to remain in one place long enough to establish relationships with neighbors and establishments, and become a part of their communities. There is no pride in ownership and they will never see a cent of rent back plus they will always have to relocate about every 2-5 years. But hey, the upper income WILL profit off the backs of these low income renters and ain't this just grand and far better! We do this for upper income landlords to this day using HUD money. And the poor? Forget abouddit!

Lots of other programs were also implemented that are now shaved down to almost nothing. Head Start USED to be not only preschool for kids, but a place for parents to find employment and go to college while working at Head Start in the classroom and support services while being paid full time. This enabled many a low wage worker to move up after getting 4 year degrees and move on to even better paid positions. But when Reagan came into office and implemented Reaganomics, HS began to be cut, cut, cut and teacher's wages became so bad they were turning to the same resources that incoming parents needed and they had no chance for college anymore. Now one is lucky if their kid gets in, the teachers, who are paid poverty wages, have to purchase materials themselves since the budgets are so bad, and no parents would dream they could go to college or even get a job there.

Over the past 4 decades, the War on Poverty has become The War on The Poor and even Progressives in the1980s and 1990s piled on to people in poverty and fueled hatred and blame for the poor supporting drastic reductions in these programs. Those of us who were first enthusiastic supporters of the new programs and then saw the declines, tried to tell the middle class they were next, but we were denigrated and called idealists. Now look who is falling into this mire and crying because there is no safety net and no way out? Boo Hoo! The very ones who were applauding the cuts, that is who. Once they fall into the abyss, nobody cares, nobody will listen since they themselves propel the meme that poor people "choose" their condition and deserve all the consequences of poverty, and now they will never be heard.

Since a welfare mom is only allowed 1 year of school if she is so lucky to be supported to do that, $2Billion to marry off poor women could buy a whole lot of education instead of the additional 10s of $Billions being sunk into those rip-off private 1 year colleges that do not do a thing to advance a low wage worker. In my community, we asked for statistics about how many women they allowed to go to college the previous year instead of pushing them into slave labor (literally they make these women work for corporations they subsidize for no pay) or some McJob that just keeps the family in poverty. Know the answer? 2 (two). But hey they have these "Workforce" center that actually give $500 bonuses to the contracted private companies they have hired to "help" these women find employment. Any job whether or not it will pay the rent, is considered a "success" (yeah what a success ...for the social worker getting those bonuses), I am not making this up.

But what the hell? After forcing these women into those jobs and finding they cannot support anyone not even themselves on those crappy wages, let's go in and take their kids for neglect. Let's traumatize these kdis for life (more grant money to treat them), put them in dangerous environments where they are 5-7X more likly to be abused, raped, and even killed than if we had left them at home and actually supported their parents? Why this is the *only* way to "save our children" (and our middle class wallets) since taking them while refusing to support the parent brings in a cool $6-8000 PER MONTH PER CHILD in gub'mint funds for foster care! This way we get to hate and blame the poor, become gatekeepers with power over people's life and death while "helping" the people whose very existence employs us and then we can keep our j-o-o-o-o-b-s.


I will try to keep my hopes up, but frankly I will not hold my breath about this new "War on Poverty". The people in power are quite content to NEVER blame a bankster for defrauding the whole country out of $Trillions after enjoying as much in tax breaks and then turn around and make rules for low come programs that force anyone applying for them to be Philadelphia lawyers. Obama still thinks that marrying low income moms off to some "sugar daddy" will solve the whole problem and sinks more than $2Billion into this. The problem is (and we told them when Bu$h implemented this dummass program) they have no way to help these woman find these men (who are considered wallets with legs) nor do they consider that most women on welfare are there because of domestic violence issues (over 70%). I fear these are the kind of "solutions" these people will implement ~ after all it is different times now and the Johnson era War on Poverty just does not fit in today's world ...

A bitter and long time activist for the poor, who has seen it all

Cat in Seattle

My 2 cents and more

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